IL: Sauger and walleyes slowing; crappies, catfish hot Issue: 19

The fishing and hunting report is compiled using reports from
conservation officers, hunting guides, and the following sporting
goods stores:

North

Chain: The panfish bite is very consistent. Fish small jigs
tipped with spikes or waxies under a slip float. Fish the weedbeds
and set your depth to just above the weeds. The shallow portions of
the bays seem to be producing quite well as well as the channel
areas found between lakes. Find the thick weedbeds in 8 feet of
water or less and the gills will be there, but look for deeper
water for the white bass and crappies. The channel cats are really
active with the warm weather. Fish have been taken on spinners as
well as live bait fished on the bottom. The very active fish have
been found up in the shallower water and have really started to
feed well. With the warm water, the largemouths have moved into the
channels and the heavy mats of weeds. Fishing a scum frog or other
weedless bait has been producing some good bass as well as northern
pike. The muskie fishing has been hit or miss with some real
monsters being boated recently. Look for the breaklines associated
with decent weed growth. Troll or cast these edges working parallel
to them with glide baits or cranks. Bucktails with large blades can
really be productive at this time as well. Trolling will allow you
to cover a lot of water and increase your chances of hooking up
with a nice trophy.

Shabbona: Crappies are biting but numbers are greatly reduced.
Crappies can be found over deeper fishing cribs with minnows or
hugging the bottom of tree lines in about 20 feet of water. The
bass bite is slow, but they can be caught using scum frogs in the
evening in thicker emerging weeds. The muskie bite is slow.
Walleyes are biting in the evening on leeches around rock piles in
steeper dropoffs.

Braidwood: Catfish are good on shrimp and cheese bait. Bluegills
very good on waxworms and red worms at Mazonia. Good bass fishing
at Mazonia, but clear water can make for tough fishing.

Forest Preserve Lakes: Crappies and bluegills both slow. Channel
cats biting on stinkbaits, night crawlers and chicken livers.
Flatheads biting on big roaches, bluegills, sucker minnows and
carp. Bass fishing steady using medium roach minnows, soft
plastics, lizards and worms. Pike biting in good numbers on roach
minnows.

Heidecke: Walleye fishing good on crawlers and jigs. Catfish fair,
with several from 4 to 6 pounds reported on stinkbait or
crawlers.

Lake Michigan (Chicago Area): According to fishing reporter Cory
Yarmuth, the water along the lakefront has cooled down
substantially and chinook salmon have started their annual fall run
into the harbors for their spawn. The cold water has brought the
fish in early and fish are being caught casting glow spoons worked
near the bottom or crankbaits fished very slowly.

Waukegan has reported sporadic good catches of coho and kings with
the downtown harbors reporting sporadic catches of fish. Trolling
for kings has really started to slow down. The fish have spread out
into several depths of water. The best bite is early mornings or
dusk to a few hours after sunset. Trolling glow spoons or glow
flasher/dodger and fly combinations has been doing well.

The fish are moving around quite a bit so some searching will need
to be done. Trolling in the 100-130 feet of water range seems to be
the broad area as of late. Magnum spoons on full and half cores (5
and 10 colors of leadcore line) or large flasher/fly combos on
dipsey divers are producing a mixed bag of kings and steelhead.
Also J-Plugs are starting to produce some sizable fish. Vary your
speeds up to trigger the fish. The best speeds have been around 2.8
mph SOG. Some popular combinations for the kings and cohos have
been Smoke dodger and Green fly. Fishlander “hey-Baby” Spoon on
leadcore, NBK flasher and green/black fly.

South

Crab Orchard Lake: Crappie action has improved most recently.
Most fish are being located in 8-10 feet of water over submerged
cover, rip rap or bridge pillars. Minnows and jigs are equally
effective. Catfish action is still fair. Catfish are being caught
on leeches and cut bait. Bluegills are still holding close to the
bank and can be caught on wax worms, crickets and red wigglers.
Bass are still active in the shallows, feeding on shad around the
weedbeds.

Carlyle Lake: White bass are biting well below the spillway, with a
few fish coming from near the trestles and the silos. Whites are
also biting on the main lake on the flats. Channel cats are good on
the lake for anglers drifting or jug fishing with cut bait or
leeches. Good catches reported near Keyesport and Boulder.
Flatheads are also biting on bluegills. Cut bait also working as
are slab spoons thrown up along the wall. Crappie action is good
below the dam.

Lake Murphysboro: Catfish have been fair to good near the dam or in
areas with heavy cover. The best action has been on night crawlers
and red wigglers. Other anglers have been reporting good success
with crickets fished during the evening. Bluegills are holding in
3-5 feet of water. Most fish are being caught on wax worms and
crickets. Crappies are hard to find. Crappies are holding on
structure right on the bottom in 12-15 feet of water. Minnows are
the primary bait. Bass action has been slow.

Kinkaid Lake: Catfish and bluegills are the prime targets. Catfish
are primarily being caught on night crawlers throughout the lake.
Bluegills are being caught on wax worms and meal worms. Most
bluegills are holding in 6-8 feet of water near weedbeds and
dropoffs. Crappies are scattered. Some fish are being caught on
minnows fished around structure. Most fish are holding in about 12
feet of water. Bass action has been slow. Walleye and muskie action
is slow.

Lake of Egypt: Fishing has improved recently. Bass action has been
upgraded to fair. Anglers are taking some fish early in the
mornings and late in the evenings, flipping soft plastics to
openings in the weedbeds. Catfish and crappie action is slow. Some
crappies are being caught over deep cover, but overall crappie
action is slow. Some bluegills are still being caught in shallow
areas around the bank, but most fish are running small.

Little Grassy: Catfish remain the best bet. Catfish are being
caught throughout the lake, primarily on night crawlers. Bass
anglers are reporting the best action around the weedbeds. Most
bass are being caught on spinnerbaits. Some crappie anglers are
picking up fish over cover in 15-20 feet of water. Minnows are the
primary bait. Bluegills are being caught in good numbers, but fish
are running small. Most bluegills are still in 5-8 feet of water
and can be caught on wax worms, crickets and red wigglers.

Rend Lake: Catfish and white bass action is still good while all
other species are slow. Catfish are being caught near Gun Creek,
the subimpoundment dams and rip rap areas on liver, night crawlers,
large shiners, stinkbaits and leeches. Other anglers are reporting
success drift fishing shrimp in shallow areas. White bass are rated
good on curlytail jigs, gay blades and large minnows. Gay blades
are producing the best results along rip rap while jigs have been
more successful around the flats. Crappie action has slowed,
although some fish are being caught in 6-10 feet of water over
Christmas tree sets and bridge pillars. Minnows, chartreuse, white
and pink/green jigs have produced the best success. Bass are slow
with some fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Gun Creek and the
Route 154 rip rap on black buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and a jig and
pig. Some bluegills are being caught in shallow coves on wax worms,
red wigglers and crickets.

Central

Powerton: Smallmouths fair on crankbaits and tubes. Some
smallmouths being taken with little jigs. A few channel catfish are
being taken, but they are not big in size. Asian carp are showing
up in increased numbers in the intake canal and throughout the
lake, so beware. Flathead catfish have gone deep, but big blues up
to 40 pounds are in the intake canal.

Spring Lake: A few catfish on dew worms and shad. Bluegills fair on
wax worms off shore. Bass slow. Crappie biting on tube jigs at the
south end bays.

Lake Bloomington: Hybrid stripers are fair, with best action early
and just before dusk when fish are chasing shad on the surface and
hitting jigs or Roadrunners. Bass best on jigs, chatterbaits and
soft plastics off points with timber and along the weeds in the
evenings. Catfish are fair on dipbaits and crawlers. Late evenings
are best. Anglers are catching crappies up to 12 inches in 12-18
feet of water. Drifting jigs is working best for these suspended
fish.

Lake Shelbyville: Bass have been good in shallows and coves.
Walleyes are good over newly covered rock and riprap. Crappies are
spotty. Muskies are being caught in deeper waters.

Evergreen Lake: Many reports of crappies being caught. A lot of
sorting was done in order to find the keepers, but they were being
caught.

Most of the larger fish were caught in 10-15 feet of water, many
smaller fish caught in shallower water. Bass were doing well, with
many fish being caught early morning on top water baits.

There was an 8-pound, 4-ounce lunker caught near the dam by a
submerged tree in 6 feet of water on a red and white spinnerbait.
Several reports of small muskies being caught by anglers fishing
for bass with topwater baits. There have been several follows by
muskies and a few being landed in recent weeks. Bluegills are also
still doing well along weed edges. Not many reports of
catfish.

Clinton Lake: Catfish very good on guts, shrimp and shad. Crappies
being caught with jigs or minnows. A few walleyes and bass decent
on buzzbaits. A 55-pound flathead cat was caught on leeches in west
side access. White bass fair on blade baits. Some walleyes on Big
Dudes. Reports of hybrids and walleyes below the spillway.
Largemouths good on spinners and plastics.

Rivers

Illinois River: The sauger bite is slow with fish being caught
near the tailwaters of dams or on the flats vertical jigging jigs
with minnows or pulling “three-way rigs.” The white bass are
starting to hit well up on “flats” on the river. White jig and
twister combos with a minnow are productive. Blade baits will put
some of the larger fish in the boat as well as a good chance at a
nice sauger. There has been a lack of shad hatches, and they are
pretty tough to find as well as the channel cats that feed on them.
Try looking for lower current areas. Shad guts or pieces of fresh
shad fished on the bottom will pull some of the big channel
cats.

Mississippi River: Water level at Guttenberg is 7.9 feet. It is
expected to remain stable but fall slowly. Water temperature is
near 77 degrees. Fishing for channel catfish is fair. Try fishing
along the shoreline or edges of flooded vegetation for best
results. You do not need to cast far out to catch nice catfish.
Bluegills and other sunfish are being caught now along the bank.
Sauger fishing is slow.

 

Categories: Archive, Illinois Fishing Reports

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